Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plowing Time

We have owned our vineyard property for just over a month, and we've started plowing! In the Rochester area, mid-April is very early to start plowing -- we are so happy and thankful for the weather we've had.

The first step in tilling the soil is using a mold board plow, shown here. The curved blades actually roll the soil over.

This plowing takes everything growing on top of the soil -- grass and weeds -- and turns it underneath the soil. In time, those grass and weeds will die and provide organic matter to the soil. This is a good farming practice that we do annually.

The next step is using a disc, which cuts up clods and roots, again facilitating organic matter returning to the soil. It also helps level the soil. We can sometimes skip this step, but it is needed this year because remnants of the grapevines remain in the soil. We still have one more step before we plant -- using a drag tooth harrow for final tillage and leveling the soil to prepare a nice seed bed.

Today we plowed a total of 1 1/2 acres, giving us a good start on the season. We hope this good weather continues!

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